Disney/Square crossover RPG sequel Kingdom Hearts II will not appear until 2005, although GBA pseudo-sibling Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is still on track for release this year. That's according to the latest issue of Japanese Shonen Jump magazine, which also reports that developer/publisher Square Enix will be demonstrating the two games for the first time at a gathering in late August.
According to GameSpot, who reported on the article, Jump also claims that at least five Final Fantasy characters will appear in Kingdom Hearts II, including Auron from Final Fantasy X, who was actually confirmed in the same publication just prior to E3 at the end of April. Other characters set to appear in KH2 on the Disney side of things include Hercules and Beast, Hercules' dame Megara, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck.
The report also states that popular Square characters including Squall, Yuffie and Aerith will make cameo appearances in the GBA title Chain of Memories, which - to put it in chronological perspective - takes place after the first Kingdom Hearts game and before the events of the forthcoming sequel. Which is handy now given the order in which the games will appear.
We hope to have more on Kingdom Hearts in the near future. In the meantime, head here for previous coverage and screenshots.